The Hobgoblin / Devonshire Arms – Camden

9 11 2010

 

The Hobgoblin in Camden holds the distinction of being the longest surving “Goth” pub in London, both in it’s current guise as the Hobgoblin and under it’s previous name “The Devonshire Arms”.

 I say previous name but the sign for the Devonshire still hangs on the wall and most regulars and locals still refer to it as the Dev’

It’s close proximity to Slimelight has probably played no small part in the longevity of the pub as it ideally situated for having a few drinks before going on to the club.

As previously mentioned The Hobgoblin is primarily a Goth pub and it’s decor reflects this with black being the pre-eminent colour inside the 3 storey mock Tudor building. The walls are liberally covered in posters and flyers for various goth and metal bands and there are the odd pieces of gothic paraphenalia; gargoyles and the like.

I don’t know if it is still the case now but last time I was in The Hobgoblin/Dev the tables had been covered over with various “calling cards” and clippings from porno mags, perhaps not the most child friendly or PC of coverings but woudl you really be in here with your kids or your nan? Probably not.

The toilets in here are and have always been vile, they smell as if a tramp and his friends have taken up permanent residence and they don’t look much better. It is probably for the best that there is no food offering here as I wouldn’t like to think that the hands that touched my sandwich had been in these loos.

The music in here is always good playing a nice mix of classic rock and punk in amongst the heavier metal tracks and there is often a DJ playing of an evening.

There used to be a dress code up until a few years back but that was more to deter trouble makes then to be a pain, now there isn’t officially a dress code as such but you do stand out if you are wearing anything much brighter then black… the admittance policy is now far shorter and to the point – No Wankers.  A policy that I wish far more pubs would operate by.

The quality of the beer can be a little hit and miss but the selection is normally good, last time I was in there were a couple of Wychwood ales on tap along with London Pride.

All in all the Hobgoblin/Dev is alright, the music is good, the decor is interesting and most of the staff and customers are friendly enough.

On the downside the beer can be less then stellar, the hygiene is from the dark ages (cant say I’m overly bothered though) and there are occasionally some overly agressive old dossers in there trying to mooch drinks.

But don’t let that put you off, there are far worse places to have a drink – the world’s end springs to mind and really no trip to Camden would be complete without a pint or two here.

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The Marquis of Gransby, Cambridge Circus

29 10 2010

The Marquis of Granby

142 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8HJ

The Marquis of Granby is probably the pick of the pubs at Cambridge Circus, unfortunately that isn’t saying a great deal!

The pub itself is well situated and has a fairly large main bar with a smaller room upstairs that is occasionally open when the pub is busy and boy does this place get busy, particularly on match days.

The decor is a bit tired and shabby looking which is a shame considering the last refit was as recent as 2008! The posters and programs from various operas and plays over the years add a bit of interest though.

The staff are competent and the service is prompt enough, I have found the landlord to be a tad unfriendly though; one particular story that was relayed to me involved a non-regular asking for the television to be turned up so he could hear the game and the landlord turning the volume from 0-100 whilst staring the guy down the whole time.

In relation to the football the Marquis seems to focus on showing Celtic matches and appeasing the cockney red brigade, funny as I thought we were in London not Manchester!

There is usually a decent selection of beers on offer and last time I was in here I had a very good pint of Ringwood Old Thumper and a not so stellar pint of Cornish Coaster – which was no fault of the pub I just don’t find much to enjoy about it!

The prices can be a little prohibitive if you were planning on having a bit of a session, a short walk can see you paying £2.50-£3.00 a pint as opposed to the £3.50-£4.00 that you will pay in the Marquis.

I find the Marquis of Granby to be fine if I am bowling along through Soho and need to wet my whistle but for me it would be a stop along the way, not a destination.








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